Ethics is a branch of moral science that deals with the manner by which people should act according to what is right. Ethics pertains to the character of the person as opposed to his reputation in society. A person cannot base ethics on reason and the use of that would be in conflict with those who use ethics based on feelings and affections and vice versa.
Reason is the product of logical thinking. It is best applied in matters pertaining to the use of intellect such as in academics. The use of reason on ethics would result to a situation where the person acted based on a study of the facts and by analyzing the pros and cons of that situation. Thus, it is more often the case that the act of the person was not a product of his character or the totality of his person. When a person uses reason, there would now be outside factors which would prompt him to act instead of just acting based on what he thinks is right. If we were to inject reason in ethics, this could be dangerous because a person my over analyze the situation and this could lead to bigger problems later on. The use of feelings and affection alone in ethics is just as risky. The use of too much emotion may blind a person from doing what is right. If he would allow his feelings to be his primary consideration in acting, this could lead to a case where he would not be able to see the bigger picture and be impulsive with his actions. For example, a person who is blinded by love might commit a wrong by failing to report a crime that was committed by his lover. That situation would lead to the commission of an unethical act.
Ethics for me should be guided by both the use of reason and feelings. There should be a balance between both factors for a person to be able to act in an ethical manner.
- Waller, Bruce N. Consider Ethics: Theory, Readings, and Contemporary Issues, Second Edition. 2008. Pearson Education, Inc. Longman.